The rain at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, New Jersey, did not dampen the celebration of one of the LPGA’s greatest pioneers, Renee Powell.
Just one day after the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the LPGA teamed up with longtime partners KPMG and Mariah Stackhouse to host the third annual Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit. The highly anticipated event brought together LPGA and Epson Tour players, LPGA Professionals as well as LPGA*USGA Girls Golf members and many other corporate partners.
This unique event continues to raise money and awareness for the Clearview Legacy Foundation, a charity designed to carry on the legacy of Renee’s father Bill Powell and the track he built by hand in the family’s home state of Ohio in 1946.
“You know, I’ve been a member of the LPGA for many decades, and I’m so proud of my association because they really stepped up and said, ‘How can we help?'” Powell told the crowd before the pro. – I’m exhausted. “It is so heartwarming to see all that the LPGA and KPMG have done all these years to support Clearview.
“It’s about the past, present and future. If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you can go.”
Clearview Golf Club is much more than just a course. Powell emphasized its relevance not only in golf, but discussed its importance in American history, shedding light on the challenges her parents faced and all they did to make a difference.
Co-host Mariah Stackhouse echoed this sentiment and how much Powell’s family has done for generations of black golfers.
“My parents wanted to make sure I knew about the history of the game and the sacrifices and experiences that black golfers who have come before me in previous generations have made to pave the way,” Stackhouse said. “As part of those lessons, my parents taught me about the track that Renee’s father built, which is the only track in the United States designed, built and owned by an African-American.
“To now have this opportunity to work with the LPGA and KPMG to preserve this legacy, it really means the world to me.”
Honoring this legacy is something that Stackhouse and her fellow professionals in attendance do not take for granted. It is the main reason why so many players chose to participate the day after finishing a grueling major championship week. LPGA pros in attendance included Brianna Do, Maria Fassi, Christina Kim, Annie Park, Sophia Schubert, Charlotte Thomas and Albane Valenzuela and Jenny Shin, who was in the final group at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Epson Tour players Lakareber Abe, Shasta Averyhardt and Anita Uwadia also took time out of their busy schedules to come support Powell.
When the start of the pro-am was delayed due to rain, Kim, Park, Shin and Schubert stepped up to lead an impromptu player discussion panel. They shared personal experiences from life on tour, best advice for young golfers and even answered questions from the crowd.
When the rain cleared, everyone took to the course for an unusual yet fun pro-am. Players were stationed on individual holes along with Girls Golf Jersey Shore members to host special skill challenges like the 3-club and the “tee” cup challenge. Not only did this create a unique experience for the competitors, but it provided a great opportunity for the Tour players to connect with the junior girls and leave them with lasting memories for a lifetime.
Following the conclusion of the game, Epson sponsored a celebratory luncheon and a diversity panel on the topic of Allyship, a concept that has the power to activate diversity, create impact and promote equality. LPGA Foundation Board Member Jacqueline Nickelberry led a masterclass and engaging conversation with Kendra Jones, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer at Epson America, and Aubrey Harrell, Partner and Chair of African Ancestry BRG with KPMG US. Both are exemplary allies to the LPGA in providing the support necessary to transform and expand the women’s game. Additionally, attendees heard from LPGA/Epson tour players Mariah Stackhouse and Lakareber Abe, who added their personal insights and real-life experiences to the discussion.
“Epson was very excited to have the opportunity to support Renee Powell’s mission through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel,” said Jones. “We wanted to provide a platform for women of color to tell their stories and encourage more people to be allies.”
The importance of sponsor support cannot be overlooked. KPMG, along with LPGA Tour player Mariah Stackhouse, has been a driving force in the development of this event since its inception in 2021; and thanks to their support and commitment, more than $600,000 has been raised to help preserve and improve Clearview Golf Club.
“Any time you preserve something in sports, I think it’s important because if you don’t look to the past to see either the mistakes that were made, opportunities that were there or what lessons we can learn, we don’t know how to move forward in the right ways,” said Shawn Quill, National Sports Industry Leader for KPMG US. more accessible and to be another step in a positive direction in the development of the game.”